Did you miss our post-show talk-back in Willard Park? Read what one of our guests had to say!
In the show Treasure Island, there are many developers/pirates who’s main goals are to bypass building regulations. At Greenaction, you do the opposite, engaging in the regulatory process and advocating for low-income communities. What are some struggles you’ve faced with that?
Greenaction for Health and Environmental Justice engages with communities in many ways, both within the government regulatory processes as well as through organizing, advocacy, protests, direct action and other methods as well. From our several decades of work dealing with government agencies and their so-called regulatory processes, we know those processes in almost every case favor big corporations including mega-developers and polluters. While some developers (aka “pirates”!) try to bypass building regulations, the main problem is that City Hall (including Planning Department, Planning Commission, Board of Supervisors, Office of Community Infrastructure and Investment, and the Mayor) consistently support and approve projects that are not safe or protective of the health and well-being of the hard working low income, working class and communities of color in our City.
Classic examples of this include:
- the City’s approval of Lennar’s massive “SF Shipyard” upscale housing project at the radioactive and toxic contaminated Hunters Point Shipyard Superfund Site;
- the plan to leave radioactive waste from atomic bomb testing residue buried by the San Francisco Bay waterfront at the shipyard and turn it into “open space” – right where rising sea levels threaten to inundate the site;
- The City’s more recent approval of BUILD LLC’s India Basin Mixed Use Development even though the City’s own Environmental Impact Report found that the project would cause significant, harmful, unavoidable and localized particulate matter pollution in Bayview Hunters Point that could result in exceedences and violations of air quality regulations;
- the outrageous situation at Treasure Island where a sloppy and inadequate cleanup has taken place and where low income people of color in subsidized housing live feet from – and likely on top of – radioactive and toxic waste. Adding to the serious pollution threats is the fact that climate csea levels are rising.
Given your perspective as an environmental activist, what was it like to watch the
We think the SFMT show is powerful, funny yet sad, and despite the satire etc it is based on reality – greedy developers, complicit politicians and government agencies, residents who desperately need and deserve a roof over their head but also deserve a healthy place to live.
What possible solutions do you see for residents of the Bayview, and of Treasure Island? What can our audience members do to help?
The solutions will only come about through continued education, organizing, mobilizing, action, advocacy and using any other legitimate tactics and strategies that we can.
We need to continue advocating for comprehensive retesting of both Treasure Island and the Hunters Point Shipyard area with full and meaningful independent community oversight; comprehensive cleanup to the extent possible; keeping the contaminated areas off limits to housing; and very importantly, creating truly affordable (in the real sense of the word) housing for those most in need: homeless, working people, unemployed, underemployed, underpaid residents of our communities. We must stop gentrification as we advocate for environmental cleanups and environmental, social and economic justice.